Amended Notice for the Special Meeting of the Goshen County Commissioner’s
Amended Notice for the Special Meeting of the Goshen County Commissioner’ s scheduled for Friday September 10, 2021. MEETING CANCELED, please see the following explanation:
The Goshen County Commissioners extend our thanks to the many concerned citizens who supported our efforts to issue a health order which complied with Article 1, Section 28 of the Wyoming Constitution and reserved health care decisions to the individual or parents/guardians of minor children. This effort occurred in response to the overwhelming public dissatisfaction with the Goshen County School Board of Trustee’s decision on September 2, 2021 to implement a mask mandate on students without parental consent.
Newly enacted law (W.S. 35-1-310) from the 2021 Wyoming Legislative session authorizes the County Health Officer to issue public health orders provided that public notice occurs no less than 48 hours prior to the effective date and that an opportunity to provide public comment through written and electronic submissions be provided. However, state officials have decided to block any efforts by local officials to return health care decisions, especially that of halting any mandatory wearing of masks by students, to that of the parent.
According to the Casper Star Tribune on September 2nd Governor Gordon is quoted as saying “I am not considering a mask mandate. There are some things that are different now, we have vaccinations and other issues that are different. One of those issues is that attitudes have hardened significantly. One of the significant challenges with a mandate that we saw last year is a significant amount of pushback,” He continued, “We don’t believe that mandates from on high work. We do think that local control, local government is where that nexus lies.”
In spite of the hallow words from Governor Gordon, he has still stymied the local authority of the Goshen County Health Officer and the Goshen County Commissioners as evidenced through his State Health Officer and her refusal to approve the locally issued health order.
“I signed a Health order on 9/8/2021 to the effect that masking at the public schools will be at the discretion of parents. The State Health Officer, Dr. Harrist, declined to sign it, meaning the Health Order is not in effect,” said Goshen County Health Officer Dr. Ted Church.
The special meeting called by the Goshen County Commissioners for Friday, September 10th as 7 pm is officially canceled. The Goshen County Commissioners and Goshen County Health officer will continue to explore all options available to them to return any and all health care decisions to the people.
It’s worth noting that no state law authorizes any school board of trustee’s in the state to issue health directives of any kind. That authority lies with health professionals, such as the County Health Officer.
(See additional PDF file attached to this email for correspondence between Dr. Church and Dr. Harrist).